Friday, April 12, 2024

When To Transition Kitten To Cat Food

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When Can Kittens Eat Dry Food & Wet Food

How to Transition Your Cats to a Different Diet

As kittens begin to wean, they can start to nibble solid foods. Starting with wet kitten food or moistened dry kibble will help through the transition.

Start by combining one part of warm water and three parts of dry or wet kitten food . Over the next two weeks, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food.

Once your kitten is fully weaned and eating solids, choose whichever option is recommended by your veterinarian and works best for your situation.

Above all else, make sure the wet or dry food you choose is specifically formulated for kittens.

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New Cat Food Feeding Tips

Mixing cat food brands or formulas should take time. Try to ensure your cat enjoys their eating experience as much as possible.

  • Provide privacy and a quiet eating area away from loud noises and other cats.
  • Hand-feed your cat, at least initially. The person offering the cat food should have a good relationship with the cat.
  • Offer moist or canned cat food along with dry cat food.
  • Ensure you store all of your cat foods appropriately to maintain the quality and freshness of the cat food.

When Is It Time To Switch Litter

If your cat uses her litter box every day, then you probably shouldnt change litter brands.

However, Its not unusual for cats to outgrow their litter and become averse to the box theyve been used for months. If you try a more a new litter, be sure to transition your cat slowly by combining old and new litters until she adjusts.

Clues your cat doesn’t like her litter:

    • Two of her paws are in the box, two are out
    • She doesnt dig to bury her waste
    • She steps out of the box, shakes her feet
    • She scratches the floor or carpet outside her box
    • She urinates outside, not inside, the box

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When Should You Switch From Kitten Food To Adult Cat Food

As a new cat lover, you might have questions on how and when to switch from a kitten to adult food. Weve answered the top questions all cat parents need to know about making a smooth transition.


When it comes to feeding your cat, its important to note that kitten and adult foods generally differ in terms of protein, fat, and caloric content. Kittens grow quickly and need a lot of calories to support that growth, as well as plenty of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. These are the building blocks cats need to establish a strong and healthy body as they mature.


Around 10-12 months of age, your kitten will likely be fully grown. Since your cat has matured at this point and is no longer going through a growth phase, they no longer need to consume extra calories. This is generally the best time to start transitioning your kitten to an adult cat food diet. However, some larger breeds dont reach their adult weight until up to 18 months of age. If youre unsure, consult your trusted veterinarian for advice on when to change your cats diet.




Newborn Kitten Age: 0

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During this stage, most kittens rely on their mothers milk as their only source of nutrition. If their mother is present, you wont need to feed kittens at alltheyll know how to feed themselves! That said, if youve rescued an orphaned kitten, youll need to bottle feed him. Kittens require a kitten milk replacer, which replicates the nutrition found in mother cats milk. Do not feed a kitten cows milkit doesnt have the right nutritional balance to nourish a newborn kitten.

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When To Switch To Adult Cat Food

Kittens grow and develop every day. They require a food that meets the high-energy demands of their bodies. As your kitten becomes an adult cat, you may need to adjust her diet.

How do you know when to switch to adult cat food? Sometimes its hard to know when to stop feeding kitten food, but generally, you should begin slowly transitioning your kitten to adult food when she is one year old, or when your veterinarian recommends doing so. There is an exception with larger breed cats, such as the Maine Coon, which do not reach adult maturity until they are 18 months of age. Spread out the transition process over a seven to 10-day period, gradually increasing the amount of her new food each day.

Transitioning From Dry To Wet Cat Food

Transitioning a cat from a dry food to a wet food can be especially problematic. The taste and texture of the two types of food are quite different and many cats will find their new food quite strange. There are some tricks you can try to make the transition easier and the food more palatable. Try sprinkling the kibbles on top of the wet food until your cat is used to the smell of the wet food underneath. Then you can try mixing the dry food into the wet food. You can also try grinding some of the dry food into a powder and mixing it into the wet food to add flavor and make the food more palatable.

For cats that need to be transitioned from dry food to wet food quickly due to medical issues, adding a small quantity of Fortiflora, a probiotic, to the wet food can help improve the palatability. Warming the wet food to near body temperature can also help improve the palatability.

Encouraging your cat to engage in interactive play for a short time before each meal can also help increase your cats appetite and make acceptance of a new food easier.

Watch your cats weight carefully during any food transition. If your cat loses weight or refuses to eat during the transition, consult your veterinarian for advice.

Dr. Lorie Huston

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Introducing Your Kitten To Cat Food

During their life as a kitten, these cute furballs will often feed on small amounts of food at frequent intervals throughout the day. As they get older and mature into fully-grown cats, this tends to change to eating just two meals a day.

However, cats have quite the reputation for being fussy eaters so, for some pet owners, switching them to adult food can be quite the challenge. With that said, if your kitten has been exposed to a variety of textures and flavours from early on, the transition should be a lot easier when the time comes.

Although it may sound like a great idea in theory, mixing the new food with the one they already know and enjoy as a way of transition can be quite risky. If it turns out that they dont like the new one, by mixing them together it may actually put them off the food they once ate and enjoyed. And then what would you do?

Instead, offer both the new food and the old food to your feline in separate bowls. As time goes by, gradually start offering smaller and smaller amounts of the old food alongside the new food. Larsen says that a little bit of hunger will help them make the transition and resign them to at least trying the new food.

If you were to instantly change what they eat, without a gradual introduction, this has the potential to cause your cat to experience stomach upset or even trigger them to go on hunger strikes . That is why its important to slowly transition the food across a four to ten day period.

What Age Should I Change My Cats Food

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When it comes to nutrition, there are three life stages which experts believe are important times in your cats life to discuss with your veterinarian. The first is the kitten life stage. During this period a cat food rated for growth is needed because it is specifically designed for puppies and kittens according to the AAFCO . Puppies and kittens that are growing require pet foods with a higher protein level and a higher calorie countto meet their growth requirements, says Dr. Lorie Huston. If these nutritional demands are not met, your pets growth may be stunted and/or your pet may become ill. Pet foods rated for reproduction” or “gestation/lactation are also a benefit for pregnant or lactating females.

The second life stage for which you should consult your veterinarian about dietary changes is the adult life stage. Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in both dogs and cats today, says Dr. Huston. One reason for this is improper life stage feeding. For example, dog or cat especially one that leads a sedentary lifestyle may become overweight or even obese if fed pet food meant for puppies or kittens. Pet food labeled as “all life stage” can also deliver excessive fat and nutrients your adult pet does not require, as it is formulated for kittens and puppies. Instead you should be looking for cat food rated adult maintenance by the AAFCO.

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We Avoided Foods That Contained Animal By

Animal by-products are one of the most misunderstood ingredients in cat food.

Most people have responded to the AAFCO definition of byproducts with the same sort of nausea that you might feel if served a platter of these ingredients at a restaurant. And yet much of the products that fall into the definition of by-products are highly-nourishing parts of an animal carcass that your cat would love to eat. And theres nothing disgusting about that.

Digestibility and quality control are the real problems with animal by-products. These vaguely-specified ingredients may be produced from any number of animal parts from any number of different animals.

A former AAFCO president once emphasized how loosely regulated these ingredients are that You dont know if its cattle or sheep or horse or Fluffy.

Besides not knowing what type of animals contributed to the by-product stew, you dont know if it contains more wholesome liver or nutritionally void chicken feet. If you want to ensure maximum protein digestibility, avoid meat by-products and other vaguely-named ingredients like meat, poultry, and meat and bone meal.

How Do Kittens Nutritional Needs Differ From Those Of Adult Cats

A kittens weight may double or even triple during the first few weeks of life. To support this explosive growth — as well as high activity levels — your kitten may have triple the energy needs of an adult cat.

These high energy needs make it harder for kittens to get enough calories in one meal, says Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, nutritional consultant and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis. So most kittens want to eat at least three or four meals a day, she says. Its also a comfort thing — kittens are snackers at heart.

Kittens needs for fat, some fatty acids, and most vitamins are the same as for adult cats, Larsen says. But kittens have a higher requirement for protein, amino acids, and minerals, as well as for some vitamins. For example, kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein.

For these reasons, most experts recommend you feed your kitten specially formulated kitten food until age 1. Although some cat foods are labeled as appropriate for kittens and cats of all life stages, these arent appropriate for your kitten unless feeding tests support the label claim.

And dont forget to provide plenty of fresh water — its a key to keeping cats of all ages healthy.

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How To Properly Wean Kittens

The best way to switch cat food isnt to just go to the store and buy them a new brand of cat food. Do that, and youre going to put your cat into dietary distress because it will not only often give them diarrhea, but it will be harder for them to digest the food. Therefore, you should try to incorporate buying your new brand of cat food and start off by mixing the two foods together over about a ten-day period .

The way to do this is by mixing the food appropriately to help ease their tummies into being able to handle the adult cat food. For the first couple days, youll want to use about a 20% new food to 80% old food formula, and you can increase in about 5-10% intervals of the new food until you eventually end up feeding your cat nothing but the new food. This will make it a lot easier on your feline friend to digest the food, and it will greatly help your litter box, so it isnt as awful either!

How To Choose An Adult Cat Food

How to Transition Your Cat to a New Food

Make sure to choose an adult cat food that provides the same high-quality nutrition as a premium kitten food. Downgrading to a basic nutrition brand at this stage of your cats life may upset their digestive system and wont provide them with the same type of nutrition they were raised on. Premium foods like IAMS are formulated to meet all of your cats needs and provide additional benefits. Theyre specifically designed to provide your cat with a formula that features:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Complete and balanced levels of protein, fat, moderately fermentable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which make costly supplements unnecessary
  • High-quality recipes and great taste
  • Standards that meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials standards
  • Nutrient-dense formulas that are right for each life stage
  • Product guarantees

All of these premium features add up to a happy, healthy cat. With premium dry cat food, you can expect to see these important indicators of good health:

  • Exceptional muscle tone

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How To Transition Cat Food The Right Way

Transitioning cat food requires a gradual mix of your cats current food and the new cat food.

The transition should be over a 20-day period for each meal. Cats are very sensitive to dietary changes.

Add approximately 5% new food each day and take out the same amount of current food.

Heres what you need to know about transitioning cat food:

Check out this guide today or save THIS PIN to your Cat Food board on Pinterest.

Disclaimer: I earn a commission through affiliate links below. No additional cost to you.

Also, nothing I say is medical advice. All photos are of my cats.

What Type Of Food Does My Kitten Need Wet Or Dry

Its important that very young kittens have at least some canned food to eat as part of their diet. Very small kittens have very small teeth and cant chew dry food well. Without some canned food, they wont get enough nutrition to grow properly. If you are feeding your kitten both dry and canned foods, then twice a day canned feedings are sufficient. If theyre only eating canned food, they should be fed four times daily.

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How Can I Help My Kitten Enjoy Physical Contact

Depending on his personality and early experiences as a kitten, your cat may either enjoy or dislike certain types of handling. In order for the cat to learn to accept and enjoy physical contact from people, it is critical that the human hand only be associated with positive experiences and that physical punishment is not used.

Begin with those types of handling that the cat enjoys like scratching him behind the ears. Speak to him in a kind voice while petting him. For reluctant cats, you may consider giving a treat during the petting sessions. This technique can be applied to other types of handling and can help the cat become accustomed to, and perhaps eventually enjoy, petting, grooming, teeth brushing, nail trimming, and even bathing.

Feeding A Newborn Kitten

Weaning Kittens – How To Transition Kittens To Adult Cat Food : Kitten Kollege

In an ideal situation, the kittens mother will nurse them for their first few weeks. The nutrients in her milk helps the newborn kittens transition from milk to solid food. Consuming these important nutrients in her protein-rich milk helps form the kittens immune systems and offers protection from disease.

If you stumble upon a litter of new kittens whose mother is unable to feed them, these orphaned kitties will need to be bottle-fed a suitable replacement for their mothers milk. Newborn kittens up to 4 weeks old should be fed a kitten milk replacement formula . Carlene Strandell, founder and director of the non-profit Smitten with Kittens, a foster-based kitten rescue that operates in Tallahassee, Fl., says you need just two things for feeding a newborn: a kitten bottle with a nipple, and kitten replacement formula. Once you have those two essential items, then you can begin to bottle feed the kitten their special formula.

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Changing From Commercial To Homemade Cat Food

If your cat has been on commercial cat food for most of its life, his digestive enzymes and digestive system has most likely acclimated to this unnatural diet. Slowly transition over to raw food, 1 teaspoon at a time, over the course of a month.

You will want to follow the advice of your veterinary professional, but for many this will look like:

Day 1-5: Mix 1 teaspoon of raw food into whatever your cat normally eats.

Day 5-10: Increase the raw food by double.

Day 10-15: Feed your cat half raw, half what they were eating before.

Day 15 on: You may be able to switch to all raw food as your cat has had time for their digestive system to catch up. If your cat is fussy, continue the slow transition.

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